Pentecostal Church Mannheim
Message from the Monthly Flyer from July 2007
The last sacrifice
John 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar:
he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
Throughout His whole life, the cross was constantly embedded in His mind. He knew what would have to be done, in order to bear the sins of mankind; and He also knew what price He would have to pay for it. The time had now arrived. He spent the night in prayer with His disciples in the garden. He was aware that He needed strength, in order to offer His last sacrifice; that which is of most value to a person – his own life.
How much is your life worth to you? How tight are you holding onto it? You might be thinking to yourself, what a question; especially considering that we already know the answer. We do not want to lose our life, nor does anybody who is in their right mind. The reason being that, we know that this life is the most precious commodity which we possess on this earth.
However, there is someone who wants to show us another way, which we have not known up until now. A way which is able to lead us to having eternal life with God – to enjoy fellowship with God; this is something which we would not know about, if it was not for Him. He made a way for salvation and forgiveness of sins; and this is something which cannot be bought with the things of this world, and not even by dying as a martyr for God. Only He, the crucified one, can make us righteous and holy in God’s eyes.
Here on the cross, He completed that what He wanted to do. He offered His last sacrifice and did that which only He could do, in order to save those who belong to Him from damnation. If we would take the time to really think about the pain and the shame which He had to endure for us, then it is difficult to truly understand His love for us. The apostle Paul writes, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin.” (2.Cor. 5:21) That happened on the cross; there HE offered His last and greatest sacrifice, for the purpose of setting His people free from the world.
Jesus, the Messiah, the son of the living God or God revealed in flesh, as the Scriptures also describe Him, saw that this world in which we live would end up being lost without Him. They promise that there will be improvement, they promise that there will be peace, but there is no peace, neither in the world, nor in their hearts. Without Him things will never work out.
The question is, who are this people who have Him as their King? The King of Kings is a Prince of Peace and an Eternal Father. He is the Alpha and Omega, who determines what the beginning and the end will be and who has it all in His hand; He is the Eternal One. He reveals His holy names to all those who love Him and these are the ones who belong to His people.
" My sheep hear my voice, they will not follow another one”, He says. Whoever follows another shepherd, or another prophet is not following Christ Jesus! “My sheep hear my voice” are words which are not to be taken lightly. Then it really is that way; they do not only hear it, but they follow Him too. Then they know that He is the Good Shepherd who David was talking about, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want…!”
How do we hear His voice? We hear it when we hear the whole gospel. However, it goes further than just hearing. And James already mentions it here, “but be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only…” (James 1:22) In order to be a doer, you also have to be obedient to that which you have heard. Sheep are obedient, goats are rebellious - they like to argue and fight. In contrast, sheep are of a peaceful nature; they trust that their shepherd will lead them the right way.
If we, like sheep, give our life to Him, then this is our greatest sacrifice. He will take it in His hand; and He will come into our life, taking control, leading and guiding us. That is the way it should be! rw